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Video: Putting a Handle on a Mug

By: Cat Collard - Updated: 26 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss

In this short video, Gillian Nichols of The Potters Wheel, Blakemere demonstrates putting a handle on a mug.

Video Transcript
Hi my name's Gill Nichols from The Potters Wheel at Blakemere Craft Centre and on behalf of CraftExpert.co.uk I am going to demonstrate putting a handle on a mug.

When putting a handle on a mug, what you need to think about is the state in which the clay of both the mug shape and the handle is. What you need it to be is a little harder than when you first finished it because that wouldn't support the handle but not too dry.

The best thing to do is to actually take the piece of clay, you can hand make the handles or like this one's been, extrude them with an extruder. And then bend the clay into an approximate shape of the handle that's it's going to be.

So the first thing to do is to decide where the handle is going to be attached to the mug. Score the surface of the mug, this makes like a key for the handle to attach to. Then we use some strip and that's just the same clay body as we are using mixed with a bit of water to make sure it sticks.

You attach the handle at the top first, smoothing that round and let the curve sit round in an S shape to touch the bottom of the mug.

What you want to do at this point is actually check the shape of the handle in relation to the mug, because you can't change that once it's actually been cut off, so what you need to do is make sure it looks right before you start attaching it.

Then just pull the clay away a little bit and score up the surface. The ideal condition for the clay to be with the handle and the body of the mug is if they're both at the same state of dryness, then you know that one's not going to dry and shrink quicker than the other one - that's where cracks and weaknesses will start to show.

Then smooth that out at the bottom. You can leave these finger marks on or you can sponge them off once they are dryer.

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